Construction of the freeway segment between Republika Srpska’s town of Bijeljina and the Raca border crossing – spanning 20 kilometers – began in Velika Obarska village on Sept. 15 and is expected to finish in two and a half to three years.
The Bijeljina-Raca segment is part of the planned Belgrade-Sarajevo freeway and will extend from the newly-built cross-border bridge on the Sava and the 18-kilometer freeway section between Kuzmin and Sremska Raca in Serbia.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the Day of Serb Unity, Freedom and the National Flag, a national holiday shared by Serbia and Republika Srpska, and was attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Serb Member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Milorad Dodik, and President of Republika Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic.
Vucic stated that, amidst the serious global economic crisis, the 100 million euros Serbia had invested in the Bijeljina-Raca freeway was far from insignificant, but that he was glad that infrastructure was being built to connect Republika Srpska and Serbia, open the door to investors and ease the transportation of people and goods.
Dodik thanked Serbia for aiding road construction in Republika Srpska and underlined that, in the next four of five years, a freeway would connect Banjaluka and Belgrade. He further expressed his hopes that the Bosnian Serb entity would soon join the Open Balkans initiative.
Cvijanovic lauded the day as milestone for both Republika Srpska and Serbia, saying that the Bijeljina-Raca freeway was a symbol of national unity and the embodiment of the relations between Republika Srpska and Serbia, which have never been better.